July 15th, 2024

Community Foundation grants benefit many

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman on May 18, 2022.

Herald photos by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman President of Lethbridge Symphony Association Ross Jacobs, Music director Glenn Klassen and Executive DIrector of the Lethbridge Symphony Vicki Hegedus receive a plaque from Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta grants coordinator Caitlin Gajdostik to recognize the funding provided to the organization Monday at Southminster Church.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta is supporting 42 projects from organizations throughout Southwestern Alberta with over $460,000 in funding.
The organizations are receiving funding as result of the spring call for applications to the Community Priorities Fund and the Henry S. Varley Fund for Rural Life.
“We are always excited to be able to support our community with our grants programs,” says Charleen Davidson, executive director at the Community Foundation in a press release.
She added that this year, they received several applications that create new or improved existing community spaces, and foster inclusion and accessibility.
“It’s an honour for us to support this important work, because it all helps build the vitality of our community,” said Davidson.
Two Lethbridge organizations were among the recipients of the Community Priorities Grant and received their funding Monday, YWCA Lethbridge and District and the Lethbridge Symphony Association.
The Lethbridge Symphony Association received $15,000 in funding, with $7,000 coming from a Field of Interest fund. Funding will be used to improve the lighting for performers, and provide projectors for a sustainable, paper-free experience for patrons. 
Lethbridge Symphony Association president Ross Jacobs said that any opportunity the Symphony has in order to improve the space they perform in, allows them to give access to the Symphony to groups, artists and patrons to come to a concert that would not come before.
“Building a space that allows us to have enough audience members in the room to make it financially viable for us to perform, is also awesome,” said Jacobs.
He said this helps a heritage building in the city become vibrant again and filled with citizens and people coming to enjoy art and all the other service groups that are utilized.
“At the same time it gives us long term viability and for a non-profit organization like ours just coming out of COVID, we want to have the best product we can,” said Jacobs.
Music Director of the Lethbridge Symphony Glenn Klassen said they are very grateful to the Community Foundation for helping them with their project.
“In the past we’ve used stand lights in order for the musicians to see music properly and it’s also sort of dark for the audience to see the faces of the performers. With proper lighting we are going to take care of both those issues,” said Klassen.
The other local recipient of funding Monday was the YWCA Lethbridge and District who received $13,100 in funding to be used to repair and replace flooring and old locks in the women’s residence in a project they are calling Floors and Doors.
Facilities Manager for the YWCA Lena Neufeld said she was very pleased to be able to receive the full amount she had originally applied for.
“We received a check for just over $13,000 for us to redo some of the flooring that has been in need of repair for a long time, and we’re going to change all the locks on the second and third floor,” said Neufeld.
She said they are changing the key locks for those people to now lock by pressing buttons.
“To get rid of the inconvenience of keys lost, keys bent, key locks not working,” said Neufeld.
She said they are also repairing the floors on the basement, second, third and fourth floor as they are in need of repairs after years of wear and tear.
“They have seams in them and there’s kind of like some sticky substance they put in there and it’s soft to hold it together, but after all the years it’s become brittle and it’s falling out so the water is actually getting in and destroying the floor,” said Neufeld.
She said in order to mitigate that they are going to get the seams taken out, redone and then they will have someone come and put in about three coats of wax just so that the seams cannot be damaged.
Other local recipients include two recipients of the Henry S. Varley Fund for Rural Life Grant. The Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association received $29,000 in funding that will be used for the second phase of the “Horses in the Window” program, which brings horse therapy to facilities across Southern Alberta. The program is aimed at helping the most vulnerable citizens, including seniors and individuals experiencing mental health and addiction struggles.
And Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lethbridge and District, with $10,000 in funding, will be used to expand the reach of mentoring programs to children and youth in rural communities including, Barons, Barnwell, Carmangay, Iron Springs, Nobleford, and Picture Butte.
For more information visit http://www.cflsa.ca.

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